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Wandering rear wheel

Old 08-01-20, 11:02 AM
  #1  
WGB
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Wandering rear wheel

A few weeks back a spoke snapped on rear wheel (which resulted in a 9km walk). Wheel is a Ukai and original wheel for my League Fuji which I believe to be an 85/86. Hub is not marked. Second spoke this year so brought to local wheel builder. Complete new spokes for entire wheel. Wheel trued and dished. New grease added and cones adjusted so good to go.
I was using Pinhead locking releases which are a pain but that's the idea. Wheel centered and good to go.
Very hot here so set out before sunrise next morning. Almost immediately very hard riding and had to ride on a gear lower than normal on flat roads. I blamed this on me. Still dark and I get to a hill and have to walk. I check brakes for rubbing, no rubbing. My frame pump had been blocking my view of the nds chain stay at the seat tube and I discover the tire is rubbing lightly there (originally very lightly). I re-center the wheel and lock Pinhead in place and start to ride. Seems ok.

Two days later, next long ride. First hill, tire rubbing again. It seems to hold up after that (at first) until I'm uphill. I keep going but now, every few km, wheel rubbing. Doubly frustrating because each stop have to pull out Pinhead key and re-center, then repack key for fear of losing it. Now the intervals shorten. In 6-7km I stop and adjust at least 10 times!!

I return to frame builder and show the wheel.

Wheel still true. Axle not bent. Pinhead skewer not bent.

Replace rear Pinhead with standard quick release skewer and ride home. Within .5km, on a slight rise wheel shifted over and tire again rubbing.

Give up and call for a ride.

Yesterday had med appointment. While there talk with a man I know who rides a lot. He too is baffled but recalls same issue happened to his neighbor and no one could find issue then either. Neighbor simply purchased a new wheel set. I've bought a new/used wheel set on here but won't have it for at least a week so need the old set.

Prior to this no issues with my wheels. Rebuilt last fall (Sept or Oct) with new bearings. Bearings appeared ok when cones checked after spokes replaced.

Any ideas for a cure?

Last edited by WGB; 08-01-20 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 08-01-20, 11:11 AM
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Replace the locking skewer with one strong enough to hold the wheel in place.
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Old 08-01-20, 11:45 AM
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Woodcraft
The Pinhead ones are locked with a key, sort of a cross between a skewer and a lock nut. By the time I gave up and switched it out for a skewer I was no longer simply snugging up the pinhead lock, I was torguing it as hard as I could turn the key. Same with the skewer. By that point I had the skewer over- tight and curiously, when I had to loosen it to center the wheel the skewer was still very tight (hadn't loosened in the distance I'd rode).
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Old 08-01-20, 12:08 PM
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Maybe when somebody repacked the wheelbearings with new grease they put the outer serrated locknuts on backwards so there isn't any bite on the dropouts.
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Old 08-01-20, 12:44 PM
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One other possible issue is that the axles are a bit too long and are keeping the QR and Pinhead from clamping.
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Old 08-01-20, 01:02 PM
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Wizardofboz - its the same axle and the Pinhead had worked/locked fine for years so length shouldn't have changed.
Trailangel - will check the lock nuts.

Not dismissing ideas out of hand. I'll check any and all.

Thank you
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Old 08-01-20, 02:31 PM
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My aluminum frame cannondale used to pull the wheel forward on the drive side under hard torque. The drop outs had worn and tapered over the years. Couldn't get the skewer tight enough after awhile.

Check the drop outs for rounding.

Also check the skewer nuts to make sure they have a nice serrated surface on them.

In my case I ended up making plates out of stainless sheet and sandwiched them over the drop outs to square them up and give the skewer a good place to bite. Bike is pretty old and I bought it used. Probably mid 80's.
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Old 08-01-20, 04:15 PM
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Also check that the dropouts are parallel to each other, and perpendicular to the axle. You should probably use a dropout alignment tool for accuracy.
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Old 08-01-20, 05:21 PM
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Popnwood - Good call on the drop outs being worn. Hadn't thought of that. Back to fame builder for a visit. This frame doesn't have drop out screws so perhaps movement could occur, resulting in grinding. I'm a big boy. Perhaps weight combined with even slight movement, combined with slight variations each time the wheel is installed might cause wear.....

Andewclaus- frame builder used the drop out tools. They are aligned.
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Old 08-01-20, 05:44 PM
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My 2009 Fuji Tourer had a tendency for rear wheel slippage unless I tightened the snot out of the skewer. I dealt with it for years until I finally tried a Surly Hurdy Gurdy which turned out to be a good solution. Perhaps that could work in your case?
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Old 08-01-20, 06:05 PM
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Also if using a QR, make sure it's an internal cam type, like Shimano. External cam QRs are not appropriate for horizontal dropouts.
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Old 08-01-20, 06:28 PM
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Maybe try DT Swiss Skewers or bolt-on:

rear wheel keeps pulling over.....quick release worn out?
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Old 08-01-20, 06:35 PM
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May guess is the Wizard was on the right track. Since the wheel has been recently rebuilt, are all the same spacers in place? I'm thinking instead of the axle being too long, the OLD might be too short.
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